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Issue 11
, 2009
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Dirty waters

Karur farmers demand steps for safe disposal of sludge
Source: The Hindu, New Delhi, Date: , 2009

dirty water Demanding that the universally accepted concept of polluter pays be applied to those who generate hazardous sludge at Karur, the affected farmers have demanded immediate remedial measures and a study to work out safe disposal of the sludge.Reacting to reports about the huge accumulation of sludge generated by the effluent treatment plants at Karur, Mannargudi S. Ranganathan, chairman of the Cauvery Delta Development Studies and general secretary of the Tamil Nadu Cauvery Delta Farmers&#A timeframe should be set for clearing the sludge, he said. More importantly, the dyeing and bleaching units, which profited from the degeneration of natural resources, must pay for the safe disposal of the sludge and they should not be allowed to tap public money, Mr. Ranganathan said. He demanded that the authorities take more effective steps to tackle sludge, especially the pollution of the Noyyal by the effluents from the dyeing and bleaching units at Tirupur. The effluent-mixed water from Tirupur collected at the Orathupalayam reservoir and polluted the Noyyal. In turn, the Noyyal polluted the Cauvery, the most important source of irrigation for the delta.

In environmental law, the polluter pays principle is enacted to make the party responsible for producing pollution responsible for paying for the damage done to the natural environment.

Polluter pays is also known as extended polluter responsibility (EPR). EPR seeks to shift the responsibility dealing with waste from governments (and thus, taxpayers and society at large) to the entities producing it. In effect, it internalises the cost of waste disposal into the cost of the product, theoretically meaning that the producers will improve the waste profile of their products, thus decreasing waste and increasing possibilities for reuse and recycling